Summer is here! We can barely contain our excitement for all the grilling, beach-ing, and rosé-drinking glory… but that’s not all! Although we love all varieties of seafood year-round, it feels particularly indulgent during the summer, when our fishy favorites oft come prepared in their fried form. Even better, we’re most often found enjoying our crispy calamari (side of fries, of course) at a cute, insta-worthy beachside shack. No frills, no plates, no forks, just delicious, summer seafood. These are our favorites:
Honestly, fish tacos hit the stop any day of the year, but they really do scream summer. We love an extra-crispy fish taco with crunchy slaw and plenty of lime squeezed on top. Taco trucks have some of the best out there, though they’re pretty simple to make at home, too.
Pro Tip: Use a mild, easily available white fish like tilapia—it’ll crisp up well. For an easy lime crema, combine lime juice, Greek yogurt, and bit of mayo with some salt and pepper and drizzle over your tacos.
Po’ Boy Sandwich
There are myriad version of this New Orleans staple, but we’re particularly partial to a seafood po’ boy sandwich piled high with crispy fish or shrimp and slathered in creamy rémoulade sauce. Whether it's catfish or shrimp, your seafood of choice should be crusted in cornmeal before frying, and served on hero-style roll that's crisp-on-the-outside yet fluffy-on-the-inside.
Fun Fact: Po’ boys are named after their humble roots; the sandwiches were eaten by workers striking in New Orleans in the late 1920s.
Also known as squid, calamari is known for its fun appearance and unique flavor and texture. While there are a few different ways to cook calamari, fried is particularly great, preferably with marinara on the side.
Pro Tip: For an extra crunchy texture, make sure to dry your calamari off before dredging and frying it. We like to use rice flour to coat the calamari, shaking off excess before getting it nice and crispy. Don’t cook it for longer than 2–3 minutes per side or it might burn or turn overly chewy.
Peel & Eat Shrimp
It ain’t fancy, but peel and eat shrimp is one of our favorite casual seafood dishes. A side of cocktail sauce is optional (but not encouraged), along with lemon wedges. Simple as that.
Pro Tip: Bring the water for the shrimp to a boil with slice lemon, a bay leaf, a quartered onion, salt, and black peppercorns. It’ll give the shrimp a serious punch.
Whether you like it Maine-style (lobster served cold tossed with mayo, celery, and seasonings) or Connecticut-style (served warm with butter on a hot dog bun), there’s no denying that a lobster roll is quintessential summer. If you don’t eat a lobster roll by August, did summer even happen?
Fun Fact: The Connecticut-style lobster roll is said to have been invented in the late 1920s/early 1930s at Perry’s fish shack on US Route 1.